Impostors and impostures featured prominently in the political, social and religious life of early modern England. Who was likely to be perceived as impostor, and why? This book offers a full-scale analysis of this multifaceted phenomenon. Using approaches drawn from historical anthropology and micro-history, it investigates changes and continuities within the impostor phenomenon from 1500 to the late eighteenth century, exploring the variety of representations and perceptions of impostors, and their deeper meanings within the specific contexts of social, political, religious, institutional and cultural change. The book examines a wide range of sources, from judicial archives and other official records to chronicles, newspapers, ballads, pamphlets and autobiographical writings. Given that identity is never fixed, but involves a performative dimension, changing over time and space, it looks at the specific factors which constitute identity in a particular context, and asks why certain characteristics of an allegedly false identity were regarded as fake.
The pingolo : a locus for fantasy
I have been here for 30 years and never did I hear anyone say or reflect upon the
fact that Jews yelled or shouted in any way, especially at the said times, when they
used to be withdrawn and modest. This year they did the worst.2
Like many micro-histories, this chapter, which studies the tension between Jews
and Christians during the frequent clash of Passover and Easter, is based on
one processo in 1604, which uncovers the boisterous and intrusive actions of
a group of Jews in the home of Davide de Norsa, a Jewish banker
past. Their work encouraged the ‘turns’ to social history and from social history to cultural history, to micro-history, world history, 48 and environmental history, as well as to the history of emotions. A century of historiography has been tremendously stimulated by Bloch’s and Febvre’s expansive vision coupled with Braudel’s passionate and courageous leadership.
Throughout his life, Braudel remained committed to exposing the big picture. In the following extract from the longue durée section of The Mediterranean , we meet the mountains and hear their story
Imperial heroes embodied the symbolic implementation of the colonial project and performed a highly mythologized meeting between conquerors and conquered. They were a crucial element of the 'European encounter with Africa' that took place as part of the Scramble for Africa. The book explores systematically the multiple outlets through which heroes of the British and French empires were celebrated, how their reputations were made over several decades and who sustained them. It looks at the general socio-cultural and political trends prevalent in Britain and France, and considers micro-economic tendencies and technological developments in the cultural industry that the development of legends revolving around imperial heroes. The book allows the reader to grasp the variety of print and audiovisual media, genres and formats through which meanings were conveyed, allowing imperial heroes to reach a 'public presence'. Two major aspects invested imperial heroes with a role in society. First is the use of their image as political argument or their own political roles. The other is the values that they embodied through their own personal dedication above and beyond the call of duty. The book presents the micro-histories of the making of the legends surrounding the figures of Major Jean-Baptiste Marchand and the Sirdar Kitchener. It details how a war correspondent George Warrington Steevens, and a publisher, Blackwood and Sons, converted the fall of Khartoum to market 'With Kitchener to Khartoum' as patriotic writing.
This book challenges the traditional boundaries that have separated the histories of the first actresses and the early female playwright, bringing the approaches of new histories and historiography to bear on old stories to make alternative connections between women working in the business of theatre. Drawing from feminist cultural materialist theories and historiographies, it analyses the collaboration between the actresses Elizabeth Barry and Anne Bracegirdle and women playwrights such as Aphra Behn and Mary Pix, tracing a line of influence from the time of the first theatres royal to the rebellion that resulted in the creation of a players' co-operative. This is a story about public and private identity fuelling profit at the box office and gossip on the streets, investigating how women's on- and off-stage personae fed each other in the emerging commercial world of the business of theatre. Employing the narrative strategy of the micro-history, it offers a fresh approach to the history of women, seeing their neglected plays in the context of performance. Competition with the patent house resulted in a dirty tricks campaign that saw William Congreve supporting the female rebels or, as this book suggests, being supported by them. By combining detailed analysis of selected plays within the broader context of a playhouse managed by its leading actresses, the book challenges the received historical and literary canons, including a radical solution to the mysterious identity of the anonymous playwright ‘Ariadne’. It is a story of female collaboration and influence.
This book revisits the history of British socialism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the light of the life and work of Mary Bridges Adams. Mary's activities within the Labour movement, and as a campaigner for improvements in working-class education, challenged established elites in ways that are important for understanding of this watershed period. The book first contains an overview of Mary's life with a focus on her route into the socialist movement. Then, the book presents micro-histories and uses prosopography to show that socialism is both lifestyle and a form of organised political activism. It puts these elements together to provide a bridge between the social, political and education history. The discussion of the issue of parental choice, considered in relation to her son's education biography, acts as mediator between the personal and the political, to examine the importance of education to the pioneering generation of British socialists. The book also contains a discussion of different aspects of Mary's political practice, in an attempt to formulate a new interpretation of the making of the British welfare state. It injects a gendered dimension into the analysis of the independent working-class education movement and examines Mary's social action and milieu in the First World War.
Anthropology after Gluckman places the intimate circle around Max Gluckman, his Manchester School, in the vanguard of modern social anthropology. The book discloses the School’s intense, argument-rich collaborations, developing beyond an original focus in south and central Africa. Where outsiders have seen dominating leadership by Gluckman, a common stock of problems, and much about conflict, Richard Werbner highlights how insiders were drawn to explore many new frontiers in fieldwork and in-depth, reflexive ethnography, because they themselves, in class and gender, ethnicity and national origins, were remarkably inclusive. Characteristically different anthropologists, their careers met the challenges of being a public intellectual, an international celebrity, an institutional good citizen, a social and political activist, an advocate of legal justice. Their living legacies are shown, for the first time, through interlinked social biography and intellectual history to reach broadly across politics, law, ritual, semiotics, development studies, comparative urbanism, social network analysis and mathematical sociology. Innovation – in research methods and techniques, in documenting people’s changing praxis and social relations, in comparative analysis and a destabilizing strategy of re-analysis within ethnography – became the School’s hallmark. Much of this exploration confronted troubling times in Africa, colonial and postcolonial, which put the anthropologists and their anthropological knowledge at risk. The resurgence of debate about decolonization makes the accounts of fierce, End of Empire argument and recent postcolonial anthropology all the more topical. The lessons, even in activism, for social scientists, teachers as well as graduate and undergraduate students are compelling for our own troubled times.
This book explores whether early modern people cared about their health, and what
did it mean to lead a healthy life in Italy and England. According to the
Galenic-Hippocratic tradition, 'preservative' medicine was one of the
three central pillars of the physician's art. Through a range of textual
evidence, images and material artefacts, the book documents the profound impact
which ideas about healthy living had on daily practices as well as on
intellectual life and the material world in Italy and England. Staying healthy
and health conservation was understood as depending on the careful management of
the six 'Non-Naturals': the air one breathed, food and drink,
excretions, sleep, exercise and repose, and the 'passions of the
soul'. The book provides fresh evidence about the centrality of the
Non-Naturals in relation to groups whose health has not yet been investigated in
works about prevention: babies, women and convalescents. Pregnancy constituted a
frequent physical state for many women of the early modern European aristocracy.
The emphasis on motion and rest, cleansing the body, and improving the mental
and spiritual states made a difference for the aristocratic woman's success
in the trade of frequent pregnancy and childbirth. Preventive advice was not
undifferentiated, nor simply articulated by individual complexion. Examining the
roles of the Non-Naturals, the book provides a more holistic view of
convalescent care. It also deals with the paradoxical nature of perceptions
about the Neapolitan environment and the way in which its airs were seen to
affect human bodies and health.
At a time when monolingualist claims for the importance of ‘speaking English’ to the national order continue louder than ever, even as language diversity is increasingly part of contemporary British life, literature becomes a space to consider the terms of linguistic belonging. Bad English examines writers including Tom Leonard, James Kelman, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall, who engage multilingually, experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English’s power. Considering their invented vernaculars and mixed idioms, their dramatised scenes of languaging – languages learned or lost, acts of translation, scenes of speaking, the exposure and racialised visibility of accent – it argues for a growing field of contemporary literature in Britain pre-eminently concerned with language’s power dynamics, its aesthetic potentialities, and its prosthetic strangeness. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, Bad English explores contemporary arguments about language in Britain – in debates about citizenship or education, in the media or on Twitter, in Home Office policy and asylum legislation – as well as the ways they are taken up in literature. It uncovers both an antagonistic and a productive interplay between language politics and literary form, tracing writers’ articulation of linguistic alienation and ambivalence, as well as the productivity and making-new of radical language practices. Doing so, it refutes the view that language difference and language politics are somehow irrelevant to contemporary Britain and instead argues for their constitutive centrality to the work of novelists and poets whose inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms is the generative force of their writing.
Victorian touring actresses: Crossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural
landscape provides a new perspective on the on- and offstage lives of women
working in nineteenth-century theatre, and affirms the central role of touring,
both within the United Kingdom and in North America and Australasia. Drawing on
extensive archival research, it features a cross-section of neglected performers
whose dramatic specialisms range from tragedy to burlesque. Although they were
employed as stars in their own time, their contribution to the industry has
largely been forgotten. The book’s innovative organisation follows a natural
lifecycle, enabling a detailed examination of the practical challenges and
opportunities typically encountered by the actress at each stage of her working
life. Individual experiences are scrutinised to highlight the career
implications of strategies adopted to cope with the demands of the profession,
the physical potential of the actress’s body, and the operation of gendered
power on and offstage. Analysis is situated in a wide contextual framework and
reveals how reception and success depended on the performer’s response to the
changing political, economic, social and cultural landscape as well as to
developments in professional practice and organisation. The book concludes with
discussion of the legacies of the performers, linking their experiences to the